As I wrote yesterday, a big woke fracas is brewing in New Zealand, with the universities and government on the side of the woke, and the science professors (by and large) on the side of the angels. Since my piece appeared, I’ve gotten half a dozen emails from academics in New Zealand, objecting to the University of Auckland’s new policy to teach Maori “ways of knowing”, which include creationism, alongside modern “real” science—and in science class! This all started last summer, and is still going on…
The misguided effort to teach Maori indigenous knowledge as coequal with science will not only confuse the Maori (and everyone else!), but disadvantage those who embrace indigenous ways of knowing. Suppose, for example, that a Maori teenager wants to be a physicist. Well, there are no positions for “physicists doing Maori string theory”; there are only positions for physicists. There is no Maori physics or American physics or Indian physics, there is just “modern physics”.
I also wrote yesterday that seven academics from the University of Auckland wrote a short piece in The Listener (read it here), objecting to the insertion of Maori Matauranga (ways of knowing) into science curricula. Instead of their fellow academics defending them, the “Satanic Seven,” as I call them, have been demonized. Their jobs have been threatened, the Vice Chancellor of Auckland University has said the seven don’t adhere to the University’s “values,” and two of them are being threatened with expulsion from New Zealand’s Royal Society. Jerry Coyne, “The “teach Maori other ways of knowing in science class” fracas continues; Richard Dawkins weighs in” at Why Evolution Is True (December 4, 2021)
World-class Darwinian atheist Richard Dawkins has tried to weigh in. Coyne quotes from Dawkins’s letter to New Zealand’s Royal Society, opposing the move:
I have read Professor Jerry Coyne’s long, detailed and fair-minded critique of the ludicrous move to incorporate Maori “ways of knowing” into science curricula in New Zealand, and the frankly appalling failure of the Royal Society of New Zealand to stand up for science – which is, after all, what your Society exists to do.
The way things are going, Dawkins could get himself Cancelled, along with those New Zealand scientists and Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–1895), Darwin’s famous “bulldog.” Coyne offers background on the New Zealand scientists here.
By the way, was this how people like Dawkins got branded at Salon as merging with the far right? On that, see: Woke atheist rejects the New Atheists — not Woke enough Take in for a moment that the editors of an allegedly serious publication actually sponsored an article claiming that all of these prominent atheists have “merged with the far right.” Remember that the next time someone starts caterwauling about the need to suppress conspiracy theories. We can direct them to Salon’s website, for their best convenience…
Sadly, the Darwinians are now learning the value of the very intellectual freedom they have so long denied to non-Darwinians of all stripes.
One wonders when the Woke will get round to Darwin. Then, probably, it’s Einstein, Stephen Hawking and such next… The real losers are young New Zealanders who will get lots of cultural immersion in science class but not much hard science.
You may also wish to read: It Begins At Last… T. H. Huxley, Darwin’s Bulldog, About To Be Cancelled – Other Early Darwinists To Get The Chop Soon?